Anxiety After a Car Accident " Judy a pleasant 31-year-old woman "

Case study ( 5290 views as of May 25, 2017 )

Judy, a pleasant 31-year-old woman who has recently become single and who works in a government office, was involved in a major motor vehicle accident and was hospitalized for three weeks and suffered anxiety after the car accident. She fractured her right elbow, left pelvis and was left with some significant scarring along her left cheek. In addition to this accident, she found out that her mother had been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. It has been a very difficult time for her and her the entire family. Judy visits her family doctor because she is concerned that she cannot return to work. She is anxious as well as agitated and sullen.

Judy could benefit her condition by seeing a psychologist for behavioural therapy to help with anxiety - both general anxiety and anxiety due to her car accident. She might also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist for a different approach to her anxiety. She would benefit from education on what anxiety is and how to treat it so that she can engage herself as a partner in her care. She would benefit from ongoing treatment with a physiotherapist for her motor vehicle accident. She could benefit from seeing a plastic surgeon to address her scarring. Lastly, she might benefit from pilates or yoga for both relaxation and in helping her mobility issues which were caused by the motor vehicle accident.

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Conversation based on: Anxiety After a Car Accident " Judy a pleasant 31-year-old woman "

Anxiety After a Car Accident " Judy a pleasant 31-year-old woman "

  • It's been 8 years since my car accident and I still occasionally experience anxiety in the car. It seems more likely to be an issue when I have other stress going on in my life. Her mother's cancer might be a contributing factor in why she is struggling right now
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  • I would think talking to a therapist of some sort would be helpful. A face scar is a daily reminder of the trauma. And finding out sad news about her mother is likely tied together in her mind with her own accident, making it loom larger. Discussing it all with someone would hopefully alleviate some the anxiety she feels.
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    • @ShirleyG we practiced a technique that I'm sure has a technical name but she kept referring to it as "bring it to the now" So I would be having anxiety about what MIGHT happen and would instead force my mind to examine what's happening now - right now I'm safe, right now I'm not in danger, right now nothing is hitting my car. If I did it early enough it stopped the anxiety attack, if not it allowed me to keep it at a level where I could function with it. I used it in connection with breaking my drive in to parts. I can get off at the next stop, no I'm still ok I can get off at the next stop. By breaking my drive in to segments it allowed me to feel like I had control over it.
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    • K. Michael, what sort of techniques were your taught ?
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    • Seeing a therapist after my car accident helped me tremendously with my anxiety. It's now been 7 years and I only have occasional issues in the car. I use the techniques I learned in therapy when that happens.
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    • I agree that some form of therapy would be helpful for her to move past this trauma.
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  • The vast majority of people who have headaches have tension headaches, where most people think tension means tension as in stress emotionally. And although that can have an effect on how you feel, when a physician uses the term tension headache, what we mean is tension in the muscles in and around the head. So it's actually a muscular condition.
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    • In a case like a car accident does it usually have more muscle damage on one side of the neck versus the other.
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    • I'm just curious about your comment on tension headaches. I do suffer from headaches for unknown reasons. Based on your comment that they are muscular in nature, or that the muscle tension is causing the pain, would it help to get some type of head/neck/jaw massage? I usually take Advil or Tylenol to relieve the pain but am wondering if this might help prevent getting the headaches?
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    • I agree with both Dr Lum and Nicole in that loose and strong muscles will really help with tension headaches. Seeing a sports medicine doctor and physiothapist is a good plan.
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    • This would explain why I find relief from headaches after a chiropractic adjustment
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    • I really thought that meant tension as in stress. Very interesting.
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    • Does the location of the headache have any significance?
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  • Ear Acupuncture is very affective first, due to the significant pressure points and second, due to to them being on either side of the brain and therefore having very close interaction with the brain. Anyone can learn to use the points to massage the ears with the fingers (acu pressure) in fact, it is a very good practice to do first thing in the morning to wake up the brain.
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    • My husband learned how to do ear acupressure while trying to quit smoking. He found it helpful when he felt stressed and was craving a cigarette. I can see it having the same helpful effect on anxiety
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    • Which is better for stress... Ear acupuncture or acupressure?
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  • Judy could also benefit from having Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy. Acupuncture treatments especially if it includes Ear Acupuncture. Ear Acupuncture is used all over the world to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Addictions and other stress triggered conditions. Cupping Therapy will detox the muscles to increase circulation as once circulation is improved, the mind calms down.
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    • Would Cupping Therapy be similar to using foam rollers or massaging the muscles? I know rolling is usually used when muscles are sore after a workout, but it seems plausible that breaking up the facial tissue that is causing tension may help with relaxation and improving circulation as well.
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    • For cupping for anxiety do you mean you light a cotton ball on fire then place it in a cup? That does sound a bit scary to me too!
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    • I would be interested in learning more about ear acupressure as related to anxiety.
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    • I'll be honest, cupping therapy sounds very scary and painful!! Is it?
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    • Yes, my sister used ear acupuncture when she was an addiction treatment program. It was very successful for her. So strange to think that the ear is related to wanting to use drugs or alcohol!
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    • Is ear acupuncture helpful because of the pressure points in the ear ? Would a person that suffers from anxiety be able to learn which points in the ear to stimulate to help them through anxiety attacks ?
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    • Cupping Therapy is a very ancient practice of using glass cups placed on the body over muscles to detox the area of stagnant blood and energy (poor circulation). The technique involves using a lit alcohol soaked cotton ball which is inserted into the cup to take oxygen out which allows the cup to suction to the skin bringing up part of the muscle. I use massage oil first to allow me to move the cups first which is very soothing and relaxing. Then I will place the cups stationary along the muscles in question, in this case the back. This detoxes the muscles and clears stagnation to provide increased circulation through the whole body. Increased circulation and relaxation, will allow anxiety to be reduced or eliminated. As well, the cups are also stimulating acupuncture points and meridians which provide their own healing properties.
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    • Julianne, I'm just wondering what cupping therapy is? Can you elaborate on this? What does it involve? Thank you.
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  • While in a car with my friend (she was driving) we were in a car accident. A car was turning left and hit the driver's side. While this was happening I felt helpless and was very scared. After the accident I was very anxious and worried all the time. It took me a very long time to sleep a full night and since that day I have not driven. It has been over 12 years. Even now being in a car will cause anxiety.
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    • The lack of control when in a car accident is certainly a cause of the anxiety. There is no way to know/guarantee that it won't happen again. Which is scary if you think about it too much.
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    • Oh yes, I have been in a car accident too while as a passenger and to this day, I have much anxiety when I'm not the person driving!
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    • Therapy was very helpful in dealing with the anxiety I suffered as a result of my car accident.
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  • My mother was in a car accident recently and was very anxious about driving again especially with her grandchildren in the car. One of the best pieces of advice she received is to face her anxiety head on and get right back to driving. The longer she would have waited the worse the anxiety would have become.
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    • It is really the best to just go right back to driving after an accident if you can. I've been there and it was the best thing for me.
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    • I have a similar issue with horse riding, after a horse incident in my teens. I was glad to see that getting on a horse last year (decades since the 'incident') was not stressful for me...though the lead up made me a little nervous. I guess sometimes time is all you need. The difference being, I have had no need to be on horses, where not driving would make life much more inconvenient! I would think that "getting right back on the horse" would be a good treatment for anxiety after a car accident.
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    • Getting back in the car after my accident was definitely one of the best things I did. As a result I got over my anxiety much faster - although I do still have some issues being a passenger.
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    • This is very true. I was told the same thing, however did not listen. It has been 12 years and I have not driven. I also feel anxious when in a car with someone who is driving a bit too close, etc. I should have listened and gotten back in the car. Encourage your mother to do so as much as possible.
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